The Monarch Migration

The Monarchs are now in full migration along the northern tier of the United States, I have seen incredible images of monarch roosts from Kankakee Sands in northwest Indiana . Maybe this year I will finally find that roost where thousands of these amazing creatures stay and feed together for a few days.

Even though the migration hasn’t reached our area there are many monarchs that are now emerging from their Chrysalis and will be joining their fellow butterflies on their journey to the mountains of central Mexico.

I captured these image tonight at KDH Health. there must have been fifty flying around the fields just waiting for their time to leave. The grounds here at the Hospital I work at are covered in Goldenrod and it is just about at peak bloom. Goldenrod is one of the most important nectar sources for the monarch as they travel south.

So now is the time to get outdoors and enjoy the sights of nature especially these wonderful winged jewels before they are gone !!

Monarchs and their journey home

There is nothing more beautiful than warm summer evening light, especially when it bathes the Monarchs and the wildflowers that they love to nectar on this time of the year . The butterflies are winding down now here in Madison Indiana but the Monarchs are just gearing up for their incredible journey south.

It’s hard to believe that these delicate translucent wings will carry some of these little miracles of nature three thousand miles to the mountains of central Mexico from the fields of Southern Indiana. It is truly amazing that these monarchs know the way to the overwintering sites even though this migrating generation has never before been to Mexico.

Soon the Goldenrod will bloom and help nourish them for their long epic flight back to the mountains of Mexico.

Hope you enjoy my images of butterflies especially the Monarch and hopefully we can help conserve this beauitufl species !!

Clifty Falls Wildflowers…Trout Lily

Another great wildflower that grows in our area is the Trout Lily. Found in large clusters this beautiful little flower gets it’s name for the trout like pattern on the leaves of the newly emerging wildflower.

The trout lily sprouts and flowers in early spring, before new tree leaves grow. Plants grow from a white bulb that have a tooth-like shape. This wildflower will usually grow when underground rhizomes spread and form clusters or colonies. Mature plants also spread by seeds. Ants can scatter the seeds, eating part of the seed and leaving the rest to germinate. And some trout lily colonies can be 200 to 300 years old.

The plants are found in woodland habitats and moist hillsides the stamens can either be yellow or black and can be quite large for such a small plant. The Trout Lily is just another great example of all the wonderful wildflowers that are on display right now just waiting for you to view.

Tunnel Falls

tunnel falls 1 2019

When you think of Indiana usually its basketball or corn fields that come to mind but in Southern Indiana there are an amazing number of large waterfalls that dot the canyons and gorges that lead into the Ohio River.

In Jefferson County there are over forty falls that are forty feet or bigger that call this area home. Clifty Falls has several large beautiful falls including Tunnel which is pictured here. Tunnel Falls is roughly 83 feet tall and fifteen feet wide and after an extended rainy period it can become quite the scene to behold.

With all the wildflowers and waterfalls our area has to offer Jefferson County can be quite the eco friendly place to come for a weekend trip to experience all the natural beauty.

Love Butterfly Style

Maybe I am showing my age but I thought the title from that show from the seventies “Love American Style” was an appropriate rip off title for tonight’s post. It wasn’t exactly Emmy award material but it had a catchy theme song and started the “Happy Days” and “Mork & Mindy” series.

OK that wasn’t exactly that funny or informative so moving on to the real reason I am here and that’s to share some images of the real love making inside the butterfly world.

I captured these wonderful butterflies in compromising situations this past summer in the Madison Indiana area. I really tried to give them their privacy but in the interest of nature photography I had to go against my best judgement and record the deed.

In my defense they really never tried to cover themselves up and seemed to enjoy their exhibitionist performance. Well maybe they didn’t enjoy the exhibition part and only cared for the mating part.

Now this whole post has become a train wreck and maybe I should just stick to posting images of butterflies and stay way from trying to make a humorous blog post. So here we have the Cloudless Sulphurs, Silvery Checkerspots and Viceroys doing what they do best making baby butterflies or should I say baby caterpillars, so they can carry on the great cycle of life these beautiful creatures are traveling.

Thanks for putting up with so called humor and hope yo enjoy the images!!